Minor Divinities (page 141, with art)

Chapter 3: Olympos, the Underworld, and Minor Divinities

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Homeric Hymn to Aprodite 5.256-75

As for the child, as soon as he sees the light of the sun, the deep-breasted mountain Nymphs who inhabit this great and holy mountain shall bring him up. They rank neither with mortals nor with immortals: long indeed do they live, eating heavenly food and treading the lovely dance among the immortals, and with them the Sileni and the sharp-eyed Slayer of Argus mate in the depths of pleasant caves; but at their birth pines or high-topped oaks spring up with them upon the fruitful earth, beautiful, flourishing trees, towering high upon the lofty mountains and men call them holy places of the immortals, and never mortal lops them with the axe) ; but when the fate of death is near at hand, first those lovely trees wither where they stand, and the bark shrivels away about them, and the twigs fall down, and at last the life of the Nymph and of the tree leave the light of the sun together. These Nymphs shall keep my son with them and rear him, and as soon as he is come to lovely boyhood, the goddesses will bring him here to you and show you your childGreek Text

Hesiod fr 304 MW – Fragmenta Hesiodea, pp. 158-59, ed.  Merkelbach and M.L. West. Oxford 1967.

Pindar fr 165 SM – Pindarus 2, p. 121, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975.

Plato, AP 9.823 – Palatine Anthology (Greek Anthology) vol. 3,  p. 442, ed. W. R. Paton. Cambridge Mass., 1916-18.

Greek Text

Apollonios of Rhodes, Argonautica 2.476-83

 For he when alone on the mountains, felling trees, once slighted the prayers of a Hamadryad, who wept and sought to soften him with plaintive words, not to cut down the stump of an oak tree coeval with herself, wherein for a long time she had lived continually; but he in the arrogance of youth recklessly cut it down. So to him the nymph thereafter made her death a curse, to him and to his children. I indeed knew of the sin when he came; and I bid him build an altar to the Thynian nymph, and offer on it an atoning sacrifice, with prayer to escape his father’s fate.  Greek Text

Alkman 63 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 53, ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

whom once a nymph:… the many races of nymphs, as Alkman says:

       Naiades, Lampades, and Thuiades,

Thuiades are the ones that join in the Bacchic feast and offer sacrifice along with Dionysos, that is to say those who sally forth; Lampades are those who bear torches and make light for Hekate. (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Anakreon 357 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 182, ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Alkaios 343 LP – Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta, p. 268, ed. E. Lobel and D. L. Page. Oxford 1955.

Alkaios 44 LP – Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta, p. 132, ed. E. Lobel and D. L. Page. Oxford 1955.

Semonides 20 W – Iambi et Elegi Graeci, vol. 2, p. 107 ed. M. L. West. Oxford 1971.

Pindar, Pythian 9.16-17

a Naiad bore him [Hypseus], Creusa the daughter of Gaia, delighting in the bed of the river-god Peneius.  Greek Text

Aischylos, Semele (or Xantriai) fr 168 R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, pp. 281-85, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1985.

London, British Museum B155: Chalkidian black-figure amphora with Athena, Perseus and Nymphai (named Neides)

British Museum

Drawing showing inscriptions, from Daremberg and Saglio, Dicionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines (1896 ff.), vol. 4.1, p. 399

Classical Art Research Centre

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#Perseus

#Nymphai

Artistic sources edited by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., and Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, Decembe, 2017.

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2021

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